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Artnet News

Manhattan's newest auction house, Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg -- more abbreviatedly known as Phillips Auctioneers -- unveiled its new headquarters building at 3 West 57th Street on Apr. 29, 2001. "It was just completed five minutes ago," joked Simon de Pury, the former Sotheby's chief auctioneer who partnered with Daniella Luxembourg in 1993, before they teamed up with Bernard Arnault and his luxury group LVMH last December.

The 12-story, 60,000-square-foot former Greenwich Savings Bank building, redesigned by French architect Patrick Mauger, has selections from Phillips' May 7 Impressionist and modern sale on view in its modestly sized ground-floor showroom (including the five Cézanne paintings and two van Gogh works from the Hans Berggruen collection). Upstairs are samples from the May 15 sale of jewels in Geneva and on the third floor works by Stella, Hirst, Basquiat and more from the May 14 contemporary art sale.

Phillips ground-floor space has room for only about 250 bidders, less than half as many as the facilities at Sotheby's and Christie's. How will the house deal? "We'll be very selective with tickets," said a staffer. Phillips will continue operations as well at its facility at 406 East 79th Street.

French education minister Jack Lang has agreed in principle to lend two artifacts from the Temple of Zeus on Olympia to Greece when the country hosts the Olympic Games in 2003, according to a report by Agence France Presse. The two metopes, currently in the Louvre, are carved with images of Hercules and were taken from Olympia in the last century.

Pop superstar Andy Warhol received hundreds of unsolicited nude photos from fans and aspiring Superstars seeking a place in the gay underground centered around the Factory, according to a new project launched by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Most of these pix were stashed away in Warhol's "Time Capsules," a set of 610 cardboard boxes of ephemera that Warhol collected during his lifetime. Now, L.A.-based artist Richard Hawkins has gone through the collection and posted a salacious selection as part of an online artwork called Squirreled Away: Meandering among the Time Capsules.

The site -- recommended for visitors of 18 years of age and older due to its sexual content -- is part of the Warhol Museum's new online "open studio," designed to allow artists to create projects in the spirit of Andy Warhol's Factory. "The Artists Online website," the Warhol Museum bravely announces, "is a venue where artists are expected to challenge, fascinate, amuse, provoke and discomfort us where both the normative and the margins are questioned and explored." Interested artists should send proposals to the Warhol Museum at 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15212.

The beloved Art Institute of Chicago is opening up its imposing stone museum and going glass with its new plans for a $200-million, five-level addition by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who has given the structure a 250-square-foot overhanging steel and glass roof he calls a "flying carpet." The 290,000-square-foot building, which could open as soon as 2005, would include a new entrance facing the park and about 75,000 square feet of new gallery space. The Art Institute currently has 950,000 square feet of space. The elaborate scheme still awaits approval from the Chicago Plan Commission. Raising money to pay for the expansion won't be a problem, AIC board chairman John Bryan, who heads Sara Lee Corp., told the Chicago Tribune. Museum director James Wood hopes to break ground in January 2003.

The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago opened its new annex building at 1852 W. 19th Street on Apr. 28, 2001, raising the total space of the 19-year-old institution to 70,000 square feet. The $5-million facility, which includes three galleries, an education center and on-site storage, was funded primarily by the city and state, plus private foundations, corporations and individual donors.